I found the album Plagues of the 21st Century, by Thames, through some good old fashioned Bandcamp Digging. It’s really hard to say what elevates this EP above some generic clearly Radiohead-inspired Indie rock, but I think it’s a general sense of passion.
Indie rock of this style can easily turn into a lifeless affair - Radiohead themselves have come close to this on several occasions - but everyone involved in this album, including the vocalist seems to be giving it 110 percent. Even when the lyrics are lacking (see: “Lover, you remind me of my mother”), he sings them with such conviction that you believe they’re not just cliches to him, but his true honest feelings. It gives a feeling of a band trying to communicate something greater than themselves.
Mix this with some unconventional song structures and production choices, and you have an album that manages to be pleasant, yet never quite boring. Put it on in the background sometime, and maybe pay more attention when you get to highlights “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Postmodernism.”
The album is here.